By Brandon Landrum |Staff Writer|
The league’s best Indiana Pacers defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 104-92 on Tuesday, Jan. 28.
The Lakers hosted the Pacers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, after returning from their yearly GRAMMY Trip where they went 2-5.
The GRAMMY road trip usually consists of a seven game road trip that the Lakers take every year in the month of January due to the Grammy Music Award show taking place inside the Staples Center.
Each game makes an influential mark on each of the players that are on the team.
The Lakers although have been riddled with injuries all season, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Xavier Henry, and Jordan Farmar have been among those players that have been hurt this season.
Each are playing through their own injuries, but making them the successful players that everyone knows and loves.
The Lakers are struggling on both ends of the ball with their superstar Bryant out indefinitely.
Bryant was recently selected to the 2014 All-Star Game as a starter, but due to his injury he will most likely sit out.
The Pacers, on the other hand, are the best team in the NBA, so far, with a 35-9 overall record.
This year Paul George has established himself as one of the top players in the NBA.
He is averaging 23.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game.
George has been considered for the NBA’s Most Valuable Player.
Both teams struggled from the field, getting off to a slow start Thursday night.
As the game progressed, both teams traded baskets, played solid defense and made free throws.
The Lakers did a good job matching up with George in the first half.
Despite George’s struggle, Lance Stephenson was able to contribute and set the tempo leading into halftime.
At the end of the first half, the Lakers and Pacers were all knotted up at 49.
In the second half Stephenson came out scoring the first six points, giving the Pacers the lead.
Stephenson and George shocked the crowd with two fancy back to back slam dunks.
At the end of the third quarter, George made a three point field goal at the buzzer to give his team a ten point lead.
Lakers’ guard Nick Young and forward Pau Gasol gave their best efforts to keep the Lakers in the game. However, the Pacers’ fast pace tempo was too much to overcome.
The Lakers are now 16-30 as they continue to overcome all the injures to key players. They have now used a league high 21 different starting lineups this season.
Kendall Marshall, who is filling in for the injured Nash, finished the game with 12 assists as he continues his strong game play.
The Pacers used the momentum to take control of the rest of the game and never looked back.
The Pacers plan to finish off the regular season with the best record in the NBA to gain home court advantage and attempt to defeat the two-time world champion Miami Heat.
Indiana’s head coach Frank Vogel is trying to keeping his team motivated throughout the long season.